It’s that time of year for graduations, commencements, and homecomings and Tracie B and I felt like homecoming queen and king Friday night at Jaynes Gastropub in San Diego where our friends lined up a pretty spectacular flight of wines to welcome us back. It’s only been a few months since our last visit but it was just a thrill to see everyone and catch up. Jaynes has always been great and chef Daniel Manrique has really taken the menu up a notch. The food was excellent: I had my favorite, the Jaynes Burger, rare, topped with brined red onions, and Tracie B had the shepherd’s pie (it warmed our bodies on a mild evening during San Diego’s “June gloom,” which generally sees cooler-than-summertime temperatures).
Above, from left: John and Megan Yelenosky, Jayne Battle and Jon Erickson, and Tracie B and me.
My highschool bud John Yelenosky (top San Diego wine professional) and his wife Megan (one of the city’s leading sommeliers) treated us to a stunning bottle of Billecart-Salmon rosé (on the list at Jaynes). The nose on this wine was so thrilling you almost didn’t want to drink it.
Above: I was surprised at how well the 2002 Cerbaiona showed. Not a lot of Brunello producers bottled their wine as such in the rainy 2002 vintage but the “Pilot’s Brunello” tasted like Sangiovese through and through.
One of the surprising wines was a 2002 Cerbaiona Brunello di Montalcino. I used to sell those wines back in the day in NYC. They’re one of my “guilty-pleasure” wines: they’re expensive, they lean toward the modern in style, but they can also be lip-smacking delicious. The wines showed nicely with my Jaynes Burger.
Above: The Selvapiana Chianti Rufina 2007 by the glass at Jaynes is awesome.
But the wine that really impressed me that night was the Selvapiana 2007 Chianti Rufina: still a little green around the edges but so powerfully tannic and rich. Similarly to the 2007 bottling of Langhe Nebbiolo by Produttori del Barbaresco, Selvapiana’s “entry-level” or “gateway” wine nearly transcends its designation. I haven’t tasted a lot of 2007 from Tuscan yet but anecdotal reports indicate it’s going to be a great vintage for the region, a harvest in which a lot of winemakers were able to make larger quantities of great Sangiovese. It will be interesting to see what this baby does in the bottle.
On deck for tomorrow: CEVICHE PORN!!! Stay tuned…